‘Top Chef’ Finalist to Prepare Meal Supporting Winnipeg’s Less Fortunate

Mandel Hitzer - Rich Francis
Chefs Mandel Hitzer and Rich Francis (HANDOUT)

A finalist in “Top Chef Canada” is teaming up with renowned Winnipeg Chef Mandel Hitzer for a fundraising dinner at Deer + Almond on October 14.

Chef Rich Francis was known on the reality TV show for creating aboriginal dishes that viewers grew to love. Now he’ll bring his culinary talent to the city to support two local initiatives.

“I see myself taking our food somewhere it has never been before; putting my own touch on it and making it elusive, eclectic, sexy and maybe even dark,” Francis said. “It’s who I am and I cook with so much emotion that people can tell when they eat my food. I want to take aboriginal cuisine right across Canada and into the U.S., building up a culinary empire starting with Turtle Island.”

A portion of ticket sales from the dinner will go to support the Norwest Co-op, part of Community Food Centres of Canada, and Got Bannock?, a grassroots level organization that provides weekly meals to Winnipeg’s less fortunate.

“Some of us are very fortunate and don’t think twice about where our next meal is coming from, so to alleviate some of that anxiety for those that need it is truly a gift — it feels good, to do good,” said event organizer Jamie L. Michie Bowles. “Having two excellent chefs like Rich and Mandel prepare a meal for us is such a unique dining opportunity, and the idea of donating to such important Winnipeg organizations just makes sense.”

Tickets are $100 each and can be purchased by calling (204) 296-2021 or (204) 998-5496.